White Christmas star Anne Whitfield dies aged 85

1 March 2024, 10:24 | Updated: 1 March 2024, 10:26

Anne Whitfield has died aged 85
Anne Whitfield has died aged 85. Picture: Dignity Memorial/Getty

By Emma Soteriou

White Christmas star Anne Whitfield has died aged 85.

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Whitfield was best known for playing Susan Waverly - the granddaughter of Major General Thomas Waverly - in 1954's White Christmas, starring alongside Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen.

She died surrounded by her family on February 15 at a hospital in Yakima, Washington, her obituary said.

It came after an "unexpected accident" during a walk in her area.

"Through the kindness of neighbours who provided expert medical support, family had the gift to say goodbye and express love and gratitude, a gift we will always cherish," her family said.

She had a career spanning 50 years, starting off as a child actor in radio shows before moving into mostly TV work.

Among the shows she appeared in were Peter Gunn, Manhunt and The Untouchables.

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Whitfield in The Storm Riders
Whitfield in The Storm Riders. Picture: Getty

Her obituary continued: "Just this past December during the holidays, Annie was able to watch White Christmas with her family on the movie’s 70th anniversary."

"Although Annie was a talented actor, Los Angeles didn’t have enough trees for her and she left Hollywood for her new life 'up north' in the 1970s.

"During this transition, Annie became devoted to causes that promote Peace and preserve nature.

"After 'retiring', Annie worked tirelessly as an activist and community organiser, working right up until the day she passed away.

"The most precious part of Annie’s life were her three children and seven grandchildren. She was beloved by her family, who were always her first priority."

Whitfield in 'My Friend, My Enemy'
Whitfield in 'My Friend, My Enemy'. Picture: Getty

Whitfield's life will be celebrated on March 22 at The Cove Community Club in Normandy Park, Washington.

Instead of flowers, her family has asked for donations to charity or for mourners to plant trees in her memory.